Letters: 13 September 2015

Duty to discloce

No matter how well prepared you are to relocate to Malta, you will never, in your wildest dreams, be prepared for the fact that neither your property agent, nor any of the relocation web pages you attempt to educate yourself on (in many instances) before your move, will advise you as a prospective tenant that your utility bills will be on a higher tariff, if your landlord refuses to endorse Form H.

The 50 faces of confusion.

I have seen them all, usually followed by “Why?”.

Then comes the amazement.  They will reel off a whole list of things they checked before their move, possibly including the cost of utilities, but even on these pages, they will find no information regarding the almost double cost for a family without Form H. 

By the time they do find out, it’s too late and they are rightly very annoyed.  The contract is signed and they are stuck on the domestic rate, zero residents, or paying through the nose on a pay as you go scheme.

Their next question is “Do we have to be aware of any other stings?” to which I just smile, and say “You’ll love it here.”

If the government insist on retaining this ridiculous practice, the least they could do is be open about it, and ensure that all those in the business of renting property be required to disclose this racket.

Patricia Graham, Pembroke

Indoctrination of the intelligentsia

The forces of Catholic reaction, including lawyers and university professors, came out in full force to “protect” their religion, as soon as it was announced that it would no longer be illegal to publicly “vilify” the Catholic religion.

This came as no surprise since Catholic indoctrination in Malta runs deep and starts early. It enables the clergy to form the minds of children to priestly domination and makes sure that those children will be in cahoots with the Church when they grow up.

What I find mystifying is that otherwise intelligent and rational adults, including some of Malta’s conservative intelligentsia, still cling – at least in public – to Catholic beliefs which contradict both reason and common sense. Perhaps it was for this reason that George Orwell quipped: “You can’t really be a Catholic and a grown-up!”

How is the suppression of reason and common sense, in religious belief, brought about in the first place? Helvetius explains in his treatise On Man:

“In every religion, the first objective of the priests is to stifle the curiosity of men, to prevent the examination of dogmas whose absurdity is too palpable to be concealed...

“Man is born ignorant but he is not born a fool; and it is not without labour that he is made one. Indoctrination must heap upon him error upon error.”

John Guillaumier,St Julian’s

Spelling words

Much has been said about the writing of English words in Maltese. I have just returned from a visit to Germany and had the opportunity to read some material targeted at German tourists using English words as part of the German language, with words such as ‘check-out’, ‘snacks’ or ‘cocktails’ being spelt as they should – in English.

If we persist in spelling English words as they are pronounced in Maltese we run the risk of having many people writing both bad English and Maltese! I sincerely hope that better judgment will prevail and that we – as is the case in most other countries – will continue to spell English words correctly.    

Paul Edgar Micallef, Valletta